Despite some of the nastiest weather to sweep through east-central Florida in years during May, 88 boats competed on Day One of the 7th Annual New Smyrna Beach Redfish-Trout Challenge.
Fifty-four teams weighed fish on Saturday - including redfish and seatrout - at Riverside Park in New Smyrna Beach. The tournament, which boasts a total of $15,000 in cash and prizes, will conclude on Sunday.
The team of Gary Bell, Doug White and Jason Gibson (Boat #1) took the Day 1 lead in the Top Boat Awards with a combined weight of 22.72 pounds of redfish and trout. That included a dandy 8.3-pound trout caught by Bell. The team also leads the redfish category, with a total of 14.42 pounds.
Bob and Bill Fisher (Boat #3) were in second-place in the Top Boat category with a combined weight of 20.2 pounds. A 7.96-pound trout caught by Bob Fisher anchored their catch and was good enough for second-place in the Trout category.
But a bigger trout was caught: Ed Shackleford, fishing on Boat #16, took a whopper 9.28-pounder to lead the category.
Randall Manders leads the Lady Angler category with a 6.5-pound redfish, while Carolyn Kelly leads the Young Angler category with a 5.88-pound red.
The 7th Annual New Smyrna Beach Redfish-Trout Challenge will conclude Sunday following another day of inshore fishing.
Top Boats Awards:
1) Boat #1 (Gary Bell, Doug White, Jason Gibson) - 22.72 pounds
2) Boat #3 (Bob Fisher, Bill Fisher) - 20.2 pounds
3) Boat #13 (Rich Thomas, Beverly Thomas, Robert Dimetri, Joe Ventrello) - 19.7 pounds
1) Boat #1 (Gary Bell, Doug White, Jason Gibson) - 14.42 pounds
2) Boat #13 (Rich Thomas, Beverly Thomas, Robert Dimetri, Joe Ventrello) - 13.92 pounds
3) Boat #9 (Mike Marple, Rubin Diaz) - 12.3 pounds
1) Ed Shackleford (Boat #16) - 9.28 pounds
2) Gary Bell (Boat #1) - 8.3 pounds
3) Bob Fisher (Boat #3) - 7.96 pounds
Top Lady Angler:
1) Randall Manders (Boat #40) - 6.5-pound redfish
2) Jody Mishler (Boat #45) - 6.5-pound trout
3) Jen Cohen (Boat #6) - 5.48-pound trout
Top Young Angler:
1) Carolyn Kelly (Boat #5) - 5.88-pound redfish
Optional Redfish Jackpot: Jason Gibson (Boat #1) - 14.42 pounds
Optional Trout Jackpot: Ed Shackelford (Boat #16) - 9.28 pounds
Optional Redfish Most-Spots Jackpot: Justin McNamee (Boat #54) - 7 spots (6.66-pound redfish)